Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art, and Chung Do Kwan is one of the sub-styles of Tae Kwon Do. Chung Do Kwan is also the oldest and one of the most traditional form of Tae Kwon Do. Because our legs are stronger and have more reach than our arms, Tae Kwon Do emphasizes powerful kicking techniques. Chung Do Kwan, has an emphasis on developing high-intensity powerful techniques. Chung Do Kwan also has an emphasis on learning practical self-defense skills. Go to table of contents

Is it good for self protection?

Yes! An important component of self protection is learning self defense skills. Other components are of course awareness, assertiveness, and safety skills. Good self defense training requires both learning how to defend against various attacks as well as learning effective attacks to disable an assailant. We learn both offensive and defensive tactics against various kinds of attacks. Including grappling (ie. Choking or hand grabs) and striking techniques (punching or kicking). Techniques are designed to maximize my strength against my opponents weakness. We also emphasize learning to develop power in delivery of blows -- capable of incapacitating an opponent in one blow. Since an assailant is likely to be bigger and stronger than I am -- we also learn to effectively use our longest and strongest weapons against them -- our legs. With effective kicking techniques I can compete with an assailant with a longer reach and stronger upper-body. Since self protection entails more than just learning to deal with striking attacks we also learn defenses for various grappling techniques. This provides a very well-rounded base for dealing with self-defense. Go to table of contents

Can a rank beginner join -- how do you handle newbies and advanced?

Absolutely! Classes are taught on an ongoing basis with no given "start" and "end" date. As such people of all levels train together. And beginners can start anytime.

How do you handle classes of mixed levels? Martial arts classes are almost always of mixed ranks. Some people will be brand new beginners and others will have trained for several years. The system that has proven to work well is to have the instructor give different drills for each level of student. So beginners will work on a simple technique, while advanced expand the technique into something more complex. Also it is the responsibility of those with more skill/rank to help those of lessor skill/rank. This way there is an entire community that is working together to help each other maximize their learning. It also helps advanced students learn by sharing some of the teaching responsibility. Also since in general our classes are small we can give lots of individualized attention to what each student really needs to work on. Go to table of contents

What kind of physical condition do I need to be in?

Any! Tae Kwon Do is taught in such a way that everyone will develop at their own pace. You will gradually become stronger, more flexible, and have better endurance. But, this is a slow process, you start where you are at. Unlike sports, the attitude in martial arts is that everyone can train and everyone helps each other out. A Wado Kai sensei expressed it well when he said

"A Karate class is not a stage upon which the superior talent emerges and is dramatized. The Karate class is a community of mutual responsibility where the weakest are strengthened, not where the strongest are glorified. The sensei creates within the class the commitment to cooperation and responsibility, and in this atmosphere is the greatest learning made possible"

Sadaharu Kurobane

Tae Kwon Do training is useful for people of all ages. A tremendous lady I know started training with Grandmaster Kim, Dong-Hoon when she was 65 years old! That was twenty years ago and she continues to train, now holding honorary master rank of 6th Degree black belt! Her health is incredible for her age, and she has a tremendous spirit and attitude of determination. Go to table of contents

Is it safe?

Yes! We emphasize control in all elements of learning, especially working with a partner. Because, the techniques we learn are potentially very dangerous we utilize ways of practicing to make it safe. One example is "no-contact" sparring. Because I can't practice techniques full out on a partner (without hurting them) -- we practice full-out techniques that stop just before the intended target. If I have sufficient accuracy to hit a precise target -- I'll have accuracy to miss that target by a given margin. So we practice full power, full speed techniques with intentional missing. As we advance in skill the speed and power increases, while the distance of the blows decreases. The end result is realistic training in fighting -- with injuries only incurred seldom, and usually only minor in nature. Advanced ranks (brown belts and higher) also spend some time working on "friendly" Olympic style full-contact sparring with a full set of protective gear. In this case the rules, the control, and the protective gear all combine to make sparring safe as well as enjoyable.

Like any physical fitness class there is the risk of injury, but the training methods make practice quite safe. Go to table of contents

What about women's self defense?

Women are more likely to be assaulted than men. An important component of self-protection training for women is self-defense training in a martial art such as Tae Kwon Do. Other components of self-protection include learning assertiveness, awareness, and safety skills. For women, the reality is that a potential assailant is likely to be male and much larger and stronger. However, most assaults use physical force only and do not employ a weapon -- which is where effective physical fighting comes in. Also studies show that women who fight back are more likely to be able to escape an attempted assault. With yelling, screaming, running away, and/or fighting being the most effective strategies.

For useful fighting techniques, women need to learn to pit their strength against the weakness of a potential assailant. This requires learning powerful striking and kicking techniques, and learning effective target area's. Since Tae Kwon Do emphasizes kicking women learn to use their strongest weapon effectively. Kicking also has the longest reach and can help keep an attacker farther away. Since we also learn how to get out of hand-grabs, chokes and other common situations, women get good all around self-defense training. Choking is an important technique to be able to get out of, since choking is a common tactic, and studies show that when used choking tends to shift the stats in favor of the assailant. Our classes include instruction in these techniques as well as applying and defending against striking techniques.

The head-instructor, Master Erik Kluzek, also has devoted considerable time in developing programs for womens self protection. He was a member of the American Womens-Self-Defense Association (AWSDA), and worked with the local women's crisis shelter in Utah for over seven years on providing workshops on rape-prevention, and women's self-defense. This experience has helped him to understand the issue's involved with women's self-protection and learn valuable teaching skills. This experience will help you to learn effective and practical self protection skills for your situation. We have also offered training classes on Women's Self Protection to various groups. See for an article in the February 2004 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Staff Notes, on a workshop we put together. We've also done seminars for church groups and other organizations. And can be scheduled for events for other organizations.

Go to table of contents

What is a class like?

Chung Do Kwan is a formal martial art, requiring intense concentration. Practices are centered around developing solid practical skills in a step by step manner, so that skills can continually advance. Learning to focus the mind and the body is useful both inside the practice gym (do-jang) and outside. We also want to develop warm relationships with our fellow students, so that we can build an environment of mutual concern, and of helping one another. As well as fostering mutual respect, and appreciation. The formalities introduced in a Chung Do Kwan class help further all of the above goals.

A typical class will consist of the following:

  • Formal bow-in.
  • Meditation.
  • Warmup and stretching.
  • Basic exercises. Learning the mechanics of the different striking, blocking, and kicking techniques.
  • Forms. Putting various movements in a given pattern.
  • Sparring drills. Various drills to learn how to apply the techniques with the help of a partner.
  • Warm down and stretching.
  • Meditation.
  • Formal bow-out.
This format results in all around fitness training: flexibility, strength, and aerobic, as well as all around muscle tone. Go to table of contents

What should I wear?

To start with loose fitting exercise clothes such as sweats and a T-shirt are fine. Obviously these clothes should be reasonably modest without pictures or statments that other students might find offensive. No jewelry -- unless they are of religious significance. Jewelry sometimes can snag and injury a partner -- or yourself -- if you wear them during class. Most students should not wear shoes. Martial arts shoes can be worn if you need to use orthotics, or if you just have a strong preference for wearing shoes. Not wearing shoes allows your feet to flex easier, for you to be able to see them and hence control them easier as well as practice fine motor control of the toes. It also makes it easier for the instructor to demonstrate how to control the feet to students. Korean culture also places a certain value in the tradition of not wearing shoes for martial arts training. Socks can be worn with shoes, but socks should NOT be worn otherwise -- it makes training slippery and too difficult. After you've been in class for awhile you will want to purchase the traditional wrap-around uniform (a Do-bok). We can help you in selecting a suitable one at a reasonable price. We also can order uniforms for students at a discount from Century Martial Arts. Go to table of contents

What about rank advancement?

We test and certify rank advancement as part of Tae Kwon Do Chung Do Kwan Schools (TCS). We can test people up to high ranking brown belt. A panel from the organization tests for higher ranks. The organization is ran by 9th Degree black belt Grandmaster Kim, Dong-Hoon of Tucson Arizona. The organization is also affiliated with the Korean Chung Do Kwan, and black belt certification is certified with TCS and can also be certified with the Chung Do Kwan in Korea as well as the World Tae Kwon Do Federation (WTF through the Kukkiwon) of Korea.

The purpose of rank advancement is to: recognize skill and advancement, and to increase skill and commitment by giving a reachable goal to obtain. Once rank is achieved it also provides higher expectations that again lead to increased skill development ("Oh no I'm brown belt I better train hard so I don't look bad"). It's also an aid to teaching, by ensuring that an individuals skill is careful examined by senior ranks. Since testing often brings other high ranking members on the testing board, it can help to bring a fresh perspective to a students progress. Rank provides an easy way for instructors to assess gross skill level and assign drills accordingly. There's also an opportunity for students to share in teaching responsibility, by giving students responsibility to help teach students less advanced in skill and rank. And rank provides a mechanism to recognize all students for their own personal advancement and achievement and not just those students that excel in competition. As such any serious student would be best served by taking rank advancement tests. There are additional fees for testing.

Those already with certified rank can either be recognized for their rank and treated accordingly. Or they can be advanced to the equivalent rank without paying for test fees. Students will be required to learn our testing requirements and as such it may take some time for them to reclaim their rank. See the curriculum page for more information on our testing curriculum. Go to table of contents

What if I already have rank from another style or association?

Students that wish to train with us that already have rank in another style or association, but do not wish to test can do so. They will do the drills that we work on in class, although they can work on their own set of forms during the forms section. As such we will fully recognize those with certified rank in a martial arts system. Go to table of contents

Why are classes grouped into sessions?

I found this is an important aspect to help prevent over-training injuries and prevent burnout in students and teacher alike. Having breaks imbetween classes allows for natural rest periods for any injuries to heal in. It also allows for the planning sessions which have improved the quaility and variety in the classes. And it allows for students to attend to other duties periodically that they can't do so easily when classes are ongoing. By having breaks it also provides for mental relaxation and motivating to get back into classes when they start up again, thus preventing burnout.

To see information on how sessions are laid out, holidays, make-up classes, and going to other COBWAMA classes see our policies page. Go to table of contents

What is your curriculum like for each rank?

Each rank has three forms, a given kick, and one or more sparring drills. Each of these need to be performed sufficiently well at a testing for advancement to the next belt level. As students advance in rank we also expect improvement in fundamental attributes such as: power, speed, focus, balance and accuracy. See the curriculum page for more information on our testing curriculum. Go to table of contents

My whole family wants to join -- do you have discounts for families?

Yes we do! In striving to make classes affordable for everyone we have the following discount rate structure:

  • 10% off when two family members are in classes.
  • 15% off for black belt ranking students.
  • 25% off when three or more family members are in classes.
  • 50% off for the parent when a parent joins classes with their children.

(NOTE: The discounts aren't accumulative -- you get the best discount that applies) We also have the following specials.

Our Back to School Fall Specials for Family Classes are:

Two Free classes, come have your kids try out one of our family classes. Lil Ripples on Tuesday nights for young children six to eight years old, Beginning Breakers on Tuesdays for kids 9 and up, and Tidal wave on Thursday nights for teens 13 and up. Offer good from Feb/15th through May 19th.

  • Our Fall Specials for Adult Classes are:
  • Three Free classes, come try out up to three of our classes for FREE. Offer good from Feb/15th through May 19th.

    Go to table of contents

    Do you have scholarships available for families that need it?

    Yes we do! Through fundraising efforts and generous donations of individuals associated with COBWAMA we do have a limited amount of scholarships funds. Our scholarship program is in memory of 3rd Degree Black Belt and are to reduce (or replace) tuition for students that need financial help. More information and applications for the scholarship program are found here. Go to table of contents

    Can COBWAMA students purchase martial arts supplies at a discount as well?

    Yes you can! We have a wholesale account with Century Martial Arts. As such we can purchase supplies through them at about 30-50% of retail prices. To ensure we pay for shipping of even small orders (and make a small profit) we do the following:

    Charge 25% over the cost of each item and then round UP to the nearest dollar. This is still about 10-40% off retail prices -- without having to pay for shipping on top of that!

    Charge $20 for standard student uniforms (retail for $32 -- thats about a 40% discount!)

    That makes figuring out an order fairly straight forward, keeps things simple with whole dollar amounts, and ensures we cover our costs. But, that also gives you the benefit of giving students martial arts supplies and equipment at a good discount of about 10-40% off!

    The Century Martial Arts supply is available on the web at: Go to table of contents

    Can you tell me about your policies to prevent sexual harassment or abuse of children?

    Unfortunately in our society we have to be concerned with sexual preditors or those who would physically, or emotionally abuse children. COBWAMA has developed policies to prevent this type of abuse that are available here.. We also screen our instructors for past problems. Go to table of contents

    Can you accept credit or debit cards or payment online?

    Yes -- we can accept credit or debit cards through our online payment system through Pay-Pal. To pay for adult classes online go to: UCAR TKD Class Payment. To pay for family classes online go to: Family TKD Class Payment. Go to table of contents

    Any special offers?

    Our Back to School Fall Specials for Family Classes are:

    Two Free classes, come have your kids try out one of our family classes. Lil Ripples on Tuesday nights for young children six to eight years old, Beginning Breakers on Tuesdays for kids 9 and up, and Tidal wave on Thursday nights for teens 13 and up. Offer good from Feb/15th through May 19th.

  • Our Fall Specials for Adult Classes are:
  • Three Free classes, come try out up to three of our classes for FREE. Offer good from Feb/15th through May 19th.

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    For more information Contact Master Erik Kluzek at: or (303)772-6225 or mail to COBWAMA, PO Box 2507, Longmont CO 80502-2507
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